No 5.8% grad accommodation rent increase in Oxford
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We, the undersigned, would like to express our concern and disappointment at the University of Oxford Property Management Subcommittee’s majority decision to increase graduate rents by 5.8% next year.
This 5.8% rent increase is especially concerning for students who are already struggling to make ends meet in Oxford as a graduate student. A rent increase of this size may also have negative effects on the local community, because an increase of this size could act as a driver for a general uplift in accommodation prices in Oxford. Rents in Oxford are already unusually high, and the University should not be driving this development; it should be opposing it to the benefit of its students and staff.
Students are the University’s beating heart, and where the University should be investing the most. Investments in accommodation for graduate students is of particular importance for a number of reasons: undergraduate students are more likely to be offered college accommodation, many graduate students have parenting/caring responsibilities and more than 50% of graduate students are international students that are unlikely to be able to rely on their personal network to find appropriate housing in Oxford.
We believe this rent increase is another worrying example of marketisation of our University. With this rent increase, the University treats its students as consumers. In line with other recent developments in the University, this rent increase is another step towards a university where students are treated as a source of income and staff are treated as service deliverers.
We urge you to reconvene this subcommittee and reconsider raising this rent increase. For the benefit of the graduate student body and the local community, we ask you to alter the Committee’s decision and ensure that the University is not contributing to the development of an unsustainably high level of accommodation costs in Oxford.
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